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Title: Revelation and the intuition of dualism
Author: Liu, Michelle Yuanbo
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 4407
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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There is a broad consensus among philosophers that when we think about the nature of consciousness, there is a persistent and plausibly widespread intuition of dualism - a belief or a disposition to believe that consciousness is nonphysical. This dissertation addresses the intuition of dualism and what explains it. The main body of the dissertation focuses on expounding a rational explanation of our dualistic intuition by drawing on what is known as the 'thesis of revelation' in the philosophy of mind, the claim that the essences of phenomenal properties are revealed in phenomenal experiences. The thesis of revelation, as I clarify, is incompatible with physicalism. Furthermore, as I argue, it is part of our ordinary conception of experience and its intuitiveness is what underlies our intuition of dualism. In my dissertation, I also defend the thesis of revelation from existing and potential objections. The dissertation is divided into three main parts. Part I introduces the theme of the dissertation (chapter 1), elucidates the intuition of dualism (chapter 2), and critically assesses a number of candidate explanations of the intuition (chapter 3). Part II is dedicated to sharpening our understanding of revelation (chapter 4), clarifying its alleged incompatibility with standard versions of physicalism (chapter 5), and putting forward a linguistic argument for its intuitiveness (chapter 6). Discussion of these issues helps to bring forth a rational explanation for the intuition of dualism in terms of the intuitiveness of revelation (chapter 7). The issues of whether similar intuitions of distinctness can arise in other areas and of what explains the intuitiveness of revelation are also addressed (chapter 7). Parts I and II complete the main narrative of the dissertation. Part III deals with some further issues regarding revelation. It addresses objections against the revelation argument against physicalism and the thesis of revelation itself (chapter 8). It also provides a preliminary defence of property dualism, a position compatible with revelation, from the exclusion problem (chapter 9).
Supervisor: Davies, Martin ; Rodriguez-Pereyra, Gonzalo Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Philosophy of mind ; consciousness